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Presenting a problem



On Friday last week I had the “pleasure” of attending a presentation from the HR team of a large public sector organisation to a couple of hundred line managers. You won’t be surprised to know that I was incognito. However, it proved really useful seeing another HR director in action and I learnt the following top tips which I’m pleased to share with you.

1. Starting off by screeching “listen I have a loud voice but I can’t compete with you lot chattering away” is a great ice breaker.
2. It’s ok to refer to manual jobs as, “those things” because they don’t require the “same level of skill” as professional jobs.
3. When people have left their day jobs and travelled to hear you, a great motivational tip is to keep on referring to how busy you are and how you need to finish on time, because you have important things to do.
4. When one of your team stands up to give part of the presentation, you are demonstrating your close relationship by telling them, in front of everyone, to “sit down” because, “they won’t hear you over the air conditioning”.
5. If you get a tricky question from the audience, a good way to handle it is to declare that you are, “not going to answer that” and turn your back on the person who asked the question.

That is not including her telling this group of professionals that they, “couldn’t be trusted” to know certain information.

And we wonder why everyone hates HR……

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Karen (Sayya26) permalink
    05/04/2010 13:24

    😮 oh wow- seriously? these things really happened? unbelievable…. what was the crowd’s reaction after that sham of a presentation and presenter. she sounds downright disrespectful and disgruntled….not a good image for HR at all.

  2. g-dog permalink
    05/04/2010 23:58

    Well – bad examples are useful too…

    Don’t forget:
    other demeaning terms – useful even for groups of professionals, e.g., call the scientist “techies”;
    remind people that they are lucky to have a job;
    when launching (yet ANOTHER) reorg – that people “uncomfortable” with change just need to “suck it up”;
    NEVER accidently embody any signs of leadership, communication skills, empathy, etc.

    The above examples are real – the “good” news is that the actor in this example is not in HR (but is one of the business ‘leaders’…)

  3. 05/07/2010 18:59

    Guys – sorry it has taken me a while to comment. Things have been hectic here with the election.

    @Karen – Everyone was pretty hacked off. Not that I can blame them. The presenter was a nightmare….with a capital N

    @g-dog – Damn….that sounds like another idiot! Reminding people they are lucky to have a job…..I HATE that!

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